Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is one of India’s most well known actresses. She was Miss India and Miss World in 1994. She also won two Filmfare Awards, two Screen Awards and two IIFA Awards for her roles in various Indian movies. She has also acted in many Hollywood movies. She is widely acclaimed as the most beautiful woman in the world.
Aishwarya Rai was born in Mangalore, Karnataka to Krishnaraj Rai, a marine biologist and Brindya Rai, a writer. She has an elder brother, Aditya Rai who works in the merchant Navy. Her family is very conservative and Aishwarya Rai was raised as a Hindu which she continues to practice.
Aishwarya Rai childhood photo
Aishwarya’s parents settled in Mumbai for work. Aishwarya did her schooling in Arya Vidya Mandir Secondary School. After secondary school, she attended Jai Hind College for one year and then DG Ruparel College. She had ambitions of pursuing a career in medicine. However, she abandoned the idea. Later on, she enrolled in architecture at Raheja College of Arts. However, she dropped out from the course to pursue modeling as her fulltime career.
Modeling Career and Miss World
Aishwarya Rai appeared in her first modeling assignment for Camlin Pencils when she was in ninth grade. Later, when she was at Jai Hind College, her English professor who was an amateur photographer took photographs of her which were published in a fashion magazine. Advertising agencies spotted these and offered Aishwarya roles in television commercials.
Miss World in 1994
In 1991, Aishwarya Rai won a modeling contest organized by Ford. She was eventually featured on the American edition of Vogue. In 1993, she acted in a Pepsi commercial with Aamir Khan. The following year, she won the second spot at the Femina Miss India contest. She eventually won the Miss World pageant in 1994.
Entry into Movie Industry
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan started acting in movies in 1997. Her first movie was Iruvar, a Tamil biographical film. The movie was a critical success and won the Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival. The same year, she starred in her first Bollywood movie – Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, opposite Boby Deol. The movie was not successful at the Box Office and many reviewers criticized Aishwarya Rai’s acting skills.
She then starred in another Tamil movie, Jeans. The movie was very successful commercially and paved the way for Aishwarya Rai’s career in the movie industry. She was particularly praised for her dancing skills. The movie was India’s official entry to the Academy Awards in 1998. Her next movie in 1999 was Aa Ab Laut Chalen. The movie was a failure and reviewers were again critical of Aishwarya Rai’s acting skills.
Aishwarya Rai’s next film was Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the movie was a significant turning point in Aishwarya Rai’s movie career. The movie was very successful and received her wide acclaim for her portrayal of the role of Nandini, a Gujarati woman who is forced to marry despite being in love with another man. Aishwarya Rai won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
Aishwarya Rai next starred in Taal, which was a moderate success in India. Her role in the movie earned Rai her second nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. In 2000, she starred in Kandukondain Kandukondain, a Tamil movie loosely based on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. The movie was a success and earned Ash many praises.
Josh, her next movie in which she acted as Shahrukh Khan’s sister, received mixed reviews and did moderately at the box office. Hamara Dil Aapke Pass Hai was her next release. The movie was well received and with particular praises for Aishwarya’s portrayal of a rape victim. The movie earned her another nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
Dhai Akshar Prem Ke, Rai’s next movie was a complete failure. Her next role was in Mohabbatein which went on to become the second most successful movie that year. The movie fetched her nomination for the Filmfare Award in the Best Supporting Actress category. Her next movies were Albela, a romantic comedy starring Govinda and Jackie Shroff and David Dhawan’s Hum Kisise Kum Nahin.
Aishwarya Rai received International recognition with Sanjay Leela Bhasali’s Devdas. Devdas was an adaptation of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel of the same name. The movie was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and was a major success internationally. It was India’s official entry for the Oscars that year. It also received a nomination at the BAFTA Awards in the Best Foreign Film category. In India, it won Aishwarya Rai her second Filmfare Award.
Aishwarya Rai in Devdas
In 2003, Aishwarya Rai acted in Dil Ka Rishta, a movie produced by her brother, Aditya Rai. The same year, she also acted in Kuch Na Kaho opposite Abhishek Bachchan. Both these movies failed at the Box Office. Her next venture was Chokher Bali, a Bengali movie based on Rabindranath Tagore’s novel of the same name. The film was very successful and won her praises from critics.
Aishwarya Rai signed up for Rajkumar Santoshi’s Khakhee in 2004 which was a commercial success. Kyun! Ho Gaya Na… starring Vivek Oberoi was a failure at the Box Office. The same year, Ash starred in Gurinder Chada’s Bride and Prejudice which was a commercial success. Raincoat which was an adaptation of O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi was her next movie. The movie fetched her another nomination at the Filmfare Awards.
In 2005, Aishwarya Rai signed up for Shabd, an adult drama which proved to be a failure commercially. The same year, she also acted in The Mistress of Spices. The movie received prominently negative reviews and was a failure. Ash’s only success in 2005 was Bunty Aur Babli. Her item number Kajre Re was very popular in India.
2006 saw her playing lead roles in Umrao Jaan and Dhoom 2. Dhoom 2 went on to become the highest grossing movie of 2006. She was also nominated for the Filmfare Awards, the sixth time in her career.
Aishwarya Rai in Dhoom 2
In 2007, Aishwarya Rai acted in Guru, a fictionalized biography of Dhirubhai Ambani. The movie met with international acclaim and was highly successful at the Box Office. Her performance in the movie fetched Aishwarya Rai her seventh nomination at the Filmfare Awards. Her next role was in Provoked, an independent British drama starring Naveen Andrews and Miranda Richardson. Ash received mixed reviews for the movie. She next starred in The Last Legion alongside Sir Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth and Thomas Sangster. The movie proved to be a critical and commercial failure.
Aishwarya Rai’s next success came in the form of Jodhaa Akbar in 2008. The movie went on to earn Rs. 112 crore at the box office. It also fetched Aishwarya Rai another nomination at the Filmfare Awards. Aishwarya then starred in Sarkar Raj, a sequel to the 2005 movie Sarkar. The movie was successful both critically and commercially.
Aishwarya’s next movie was The Pink Panther 2, a spy comedy starring Steve Martin, Jean Reno and Emily Mortimer. The movie received negative reviews and did a moderate business at the box office fetching USD 34 million.
In 2010, Aishwarya Rai acted in Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan, a Tamil movie based loosely on the epic Ramayana. A Hindi remake of the movie – Raavan was also released. Raavanan was a commercial success while Raavan failed.
The same year, Aishwarya Rai starred in Enthiran, a science fiction Tamil movie which was also dubbed into Telugu and Hindi. The movie was a superhit and was one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Her next movie, Action Replay opposite Akshay Kumar was a failure. Her last film in 2010 was Guzaarish – her third collaboration with Sanjay Bhansali and Hrithik Roshan. Though well received by movie critics, the movie was not very successful commercially.
Guzaarish is her last movie as of now. Aishwarya has taken a break from acting due to pregnancy. There are reports that she will be signed up for movies in 2013.
Aishwarya Rai is married to actor Abhishek Bachchan. The engagement was announced on 14 January 2007 and the couple married on 20 April the same year. Aishwarya Rai is deeply religious and a practicing Hindu.
Aishwarya Rai gave birth to a baby girl on 16th November 2011. She was named Aaradhya Bachchan in March 2012.